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A financial crisis can leave you unprepared and keep you from paying your bills. If you’re over your head with debt, filing for bankruptcy in Fredericksburg, Virginia may be the sensible option to stop bill collectors from calling and get the fresh start you need. A one-on-one consultation with a knowledgeable Virginia Bankruptcy Attorney is important so you can talk about your options and get your questions answered.

At The Bramble Law Firm, you’ll get the benefit of experienced legal services and expert guidance through the complexities of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia. 

Our attorneys review your case details and discuss your options with you to figure out your best next steps through every step of the bankruptcy process.


The Bramble Law Firm happily serves clients in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotyslvania, King George, Caroline, Westmoreland, Northumberland, Middlesex, King William, Hanover, Powhatan, Richmond, Lancaster, Goochland.

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy was made to help people wipe out most of their general unsecured debts which are debts that are not backed by property, to give them a needed financial "fresh start."


When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Virginia bankrutpcy court will appoint an outside trustee to look over your bankruptcy case. The trustee can sell your non-exempt assets (property that you own that isn't protected in bankruptcy) but this doesn’t happen often. It’s sort of complicated, but we explain what’s exempt and what’s not exempt to you in an easy-to-understand way when we talk to you. 

Exempt and Non-Exempt Assets

When filing for bankruptcy, assets are grouped into non-exempt (not protected) and exempt (protected or in other words, the property you can keep) assets.

Non-Exempt Assets: These are assets and properties the trustee can sell in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. These include your certain cars, vacation homes, second homes, high-dollar bank accounts, stocks, bonds, antiques, and cash.

Exempt Assets: These are items that you can keep because you can use your bankruptcy exemptions. Exempt assets include your primary home, car, furniture, household goods, wedding and engagement rings, guns, and clothing.

You’ll be able to exempt (keep) the property listed in the Virginia exemption statute and will likely include things that you’ll need to work and maintain your home, such as:

  • $6,000 or more of equity in a car

  • household furnishings and clothing

  • tools you need for your work, and

  • your retirement account.


So you won't’ have to give up everything if you file for bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy is designed to help you financially start over, not to leave you stressed out with nothing. 

How Can I Benefit from a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia can help you:

  • Eliminate unsecured personal loans, medical bills, and credit card balances.

  • Takes away many of your other financial responsibilities, except for child support and spousal support        payments. 

  • Rebuild your credit score gradually over time.

  • Instantly get an "automatic stay" on your existing debts, which is powerful because it stops all creditor harassment and stops debt collectors from suing you or garnishing your paycheck.

  • Stop eviction in Virginia

  • Prevent car repossession

What Chapter 7 Doesn't Do

Chapter 7 WON’T:


  • Leave you penniless. Most people keep their major assets, including their homes, furniture pieces, clothing, and cars.

  • Wipe out criminal restitution, fines and penalties, fraudulent debts, divorce settlement debts, and some state, local, and federal taxes, including personal property taxes.

  • Give you a break from your responsibility to pay child support and spousal support. Only a family court order can suspend these.

  • Eliminate your student loan debts, except in very rare situations.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Fredericksburg

Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia requires you to pass the bankruptcy means test and attend a credit counseling course before you file and a financial management course after your case is filed.

Bankruptcy Means Test

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must pass the bankruptcy "means test." If you earn less than the median income for your household size in Virginia, passing is automatic. But, if your family income is above Virginia's median, to qualify for Chapter 7, you’ll need to complete the bankruptcy means test. We help you do this.

The means test is a calculation that inputs your income and deducts certain expenses to determine your disposable income. 


Those that don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be better suited for Chapter 13.  We don’t handle Chapter 13, but we have excellent partner attorneys to refer you to that do.

Calculating Virginia's Median Income

Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also requires that your income is less than the Virginia median income for your household size.

  • One-person household – $64,870

  • Two-member household – $82,910

  • Three-member household – $98,253

  • Four-member household – $116,328

*Add $9,000 for each household in excess of 4 members.

The figures listed are for 2021 and change, but we update them regularly. Our attorneys at The Bramble Law Firm can help determine whether you qualify for filing Chapter 7.

Credit Counseling Providers

Before filing your bankruptcy case, you must finish a session with an approved credit counseling provider no later than six months before you file bankruptcy. After filing your bankruptcy case, you need to take a debtor management course from a U.S Trustee approved agency in Virginia before you can get a discharge. 


You can attend both courses online and each usually take about two hours to finish.

Work With an Experienced Chapter 7
Bankruptcy Attorney in Fredericksburg, VA

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not anything to be ashamed of.  It happens commonly in Virginia. If you’re thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s important that you speak with a knowledgeable Virginia bankruptcy attorney to get answers to your questions and guide you on a path out of debt. 

The Bramble Law Firm has over a decade of experience handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Virginia Bankruptcy Attorney Tori Bramble can review and assess your important situation, provide your with options, and help you decide if Chapter 7 is the right debt relief option for you. You’ll have a reliable team with you every step of the way during the bankruptcy process.


If you're going through financial difficulty and considering filing for bankruptcy, don't go through it alone. Contact The Bramble Law Firm today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. We proudly serve clients in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotyslvania, King George, Caroline, Westmoreland, Northumberland, Middlesex, King William, Hanover, Powhatan, Richmond, Lancaster, Goochland counties.

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